Just a couple of months ago if I had told you that we would be living in isolation and that our schools would be closed would you have believed me? Probably not. And who had heard of furlough before the end of March? To be honest even my friends in HR didn’t know what it was and were frantically googling!
We are undoubtedly living through unusual times with anxiety and negativity running alongside positivity and heartfelt thanks for our key workers and beyond. Over the last couple of days I have been reflecting on some of the things that lockdown has taught me.
The Value of Hairdressers
I am sure that most of us will agree with this one? I miss my 8 weekly hair cuts and root touch up (but let’s not talk about that). With an ever widening grey stripe I succumbed to temptation and home coloured my hair. I’m actually quite pleased with the result but my boyfriend watching a couple of YouTube videos definitely didn’t make him a hairdresser and he will never be coming near me with a pair of scissors!
Whilst I was sat having my hair coloured it made me think about how much we undervalue the services we sell and question the value of our own experience and worth. Consider this; my hairdresser makes what she does look easy. When I pay my hairdresser (who is also a good friend) I’m not just paying her to cut and colour my hair. In reality I could go anywhere to get that done. What I am paying her for is her 30 years of experience and because I trust her with something that’s important to me. I’m paying for her to choose the right products and colour, to know how to cut my very thick hair in the right way and sometimes for her to say to me “No Amy! You can’t do that with your hair!”
How many have thought you need to discount our products or give our service away for free because of lockdown? Before lockdown who suffered imposter syndrome or mind monkeys about what you charge? But if you don’t believe in the value of our service or products why should anyone else? If someone sees the value and believes that what you sell them is what they need and can help them then …… they will definitely pay you for it. I would love to be able to pay my hairdresser to do what she does best. Wouldn’t you?
The Importance of Support
The lockdown announcement was on the day of my Grandad’s funeral. We were lucky in that we still got to have a funeral, albeit only close family, and we didn’t have the restrictions that are in place today. Saying goodbye to my Mum that night, when we knew what was potentially coming in Boris Johnson’s speech, was horrible. I see my Mum most days and she is a massive help with the boys but I also felt like I was abandoning her at a time when we would normally have been rallying round and supporting her. As time has gone on I have still been able to see her even if it is just on her doorstep with supermarket shopping or to sit in her garden at the appropriate distance but it isn’t the same. Receiving andgiving support is important to both of us.
In business, small businesses I have spoken to have turned to colleagues and other businesses for support and that support has been even more forthcoming than usual. At Connexions we have seen this with recommendations and engagement in our group proving that women supporting women and networking can work. If you’re struggling then reach out, whether it is to share your perspective, to shout about something great that has happened to you, to rant about something that’s gone wrong or just to connect with others when you are feeling lonely.
Support is available and Connexions is a great place to be. Donna and I are both very grateful for the support you have given us as we have moved online and as we celebrate our first year anniversary as business partners. We love it when we see the business connections and friendships you have made.
By Amy Hobson, Co-Owner of Connexions, Digital Marketing Trainer and Owner of Focus Your Future helping small and micro businesses find their digital focus so their customers can find them online.